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Report: Baylor did not violate NCAA rules on reporting allegations of sexual violence

The committee found while Baylor did not violate rules about reporting sexual violence, they did find other violations leading to four years of probation.

WACO, Texas — Editor's Note: The video above is from May 18, 2021.

A report from a NCAA Division 1 Committee found Baylor did not violate NCAA rules when it failed to report allegations of and address sexual and interpersonal violence on campus.

The report released Wednesday did find a number of other violations that occurred between 2011 and 2016.

Some of those violations include the following. 

  • Impermissible benefits were provided to a football student-athlete who was not reported for failing to meet an academic performance plan following an academic violation.
  • The university operated a predominantly female student-host program that did not align with NCAA recruiting rules.
  • A former assistant director of football operations did not meet his obligation to cooperate and violated ethical conduct rules when he did not participate in the investigation.

Penalties in the case include four years of probation, recruiting restrictions, a vacation of records and a five-year show-cause order limiting all athletically related duties for the former assistant director of football operations, the committee ruled.

"Baylor admitted to moral and ethical failings in its handling of sexual and interpersonal violence on campus but argued those failings, however egregious, did not constitute violations of NCAA rules. Ultimately, and with tremendous reluctance, this panel agrees," the panel said in its decision. "To arrive at a different outcome would require the [committee] to ignore the rules the Association's membership has adopted — rules under which the [committee] is required to adjudicate. Such an outcome would be antithetical to the integrity of the infractions process."

The panel also found former Head Football Coach Art Briles "failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance or that Baylor lacked intuitional control."

The one NCAA violation involving a student-athlete's conduct was due to a plagiarism concern, the committee found.

The student submitted an appeal to the president who overturned the student-athlete's suspension but required that the student take part in an academic performance plan requiring 100% academic honesty.

A couple months later, the committee found, an academic advisor notified football and academic staff members that the student-athlete cheated on an in-class quiz but the incident was not reported to the president.

"As a result, the panel found that Baylor committed a Level II violation when the student-athlete was provided with an impermissible benefit, the committee said. "Due to the nonreporting of this incident, the student-athlete was able to remain enrolled and went on to compete in seven contests while ineligible."

The commission also addressed Baylor's use of a predominantly female student-host group known as the Baylor Bruins for football recruiting events.

The Bruins were not part of the admissions office and hosted some events unrelated to football recruiting.

"However, they also worked many recruiting events, including camps, official visit weekends, junior days and the gameday recruiting room," the report said.

The group was initially all female and while they did allow men to join, it was overwhelmingly female. The dress code "remained geared toward female participants." The manual included a line about how all members "had boyfriends" and applicants had to submit an 8x10 headshot.

"The gender-based nature of this group is especially concerning in light of the campus-wide cultural issues and Title IX deficiencies at Baylor during this time, as well as the extremely troubling assertions reported by the former Title IX coordinator, including that the Bruins were 'kind of at the disposal of football players in a very inappropriate way,'" the panel said in its decision.

The committee found the Bruins were "impermissible recruiters" because they were not part of the recruitment of all prospective students. The committee ruled this was a Level II violation.

The complete list of penalties is below:

  • Four years of probation.
  • A $5,000 fine.
  • A reduction to 30 football official visits during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A three-week ban on unofficial visits in football during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A two-week ban on football recruiting communication during the 2021-22 academic year.
  • A reduction of football evaluation days by three during fall 2021 and by 10 during spring 2022.
  • A five-year show-cause order for the former assistant director of football operations. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him must restrict him from any athletically related duties unless it shows cause why the restrictions should not apply.
  • A vacation of all records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible. The university must provide a written report containing the contests impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 14 days of the public release of the decision.

Baylor scheduled a news conference about the findings for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

President Linda Livingstone, Ph.D. released a statement shortly after the findings of the report were released, which included:

"...The University agrees with the enforcement staff and the Committee on Infractions that violations did occur, and we take full responsibility. Our internal and external legal teams will review the full report and the University will decide on its next steps, if any....

Baylor is a proud member of the NCAA and of the Big 12 Conference and is committed to sportsmanship, integrity and following the rules. A key aspect of our current University strategic plan is to provide a transformational education for our students: 'At Baylor, learning is more than just what happens in the classroom.' That same principle applies to our growth as a University, as we must learn from our mistakes. While the NCAA process found violations that occurred between 2011 and 2016, we can confidently say Baylor is a much different University today than it was three, five and certainly 10 years ago. We appreciate the NCAA committee’s recognition of the University’s swift and wide-ranging response several years ago, which demonstrated Baylor’s dedication to functioning with integrity, fostering a culture of compliance, and ensuring a commitment to institutional control. We made key personnel transitions in a variety of roles across campus, not solely in Athletics. We implemented a new culture in Athletics and campuswide. We identified and implemented best practices in Title IX policies and procedures. And we demand an ongoing adherence to ethics and accountability from each and every employee.

While today is an important reminder for our University, we are confident in a bright future for Baylor based on integrity and excellence."

To read the full statement, click here.

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